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LIVING IN FRANCE

MAP: ‘Deadly’ tiger mosquitoes have colonised almost all of Paris region

The Asian tiger mosquito, which carries a range of potentially fatal diseases, has colonised all but one of the départements of the greater Paris region, experts have revealed.

MAP: ‘Deadly' tiger mosquitoes have colonised almost all of Paris region

This tiny black and white striped mosquito, which can deliver potentially deadly tropical diseases such as dengue fever, zika and chikungunya, was first spotted in France in 2004 and has been spreading since.

It has now colonised more than half of the départements of France, and 58 of them are on red alert (meaning that the tiger mosquito is “located there and active”), according to the mosquito vigilance website Vigilance-moustiques’s latest map.

For the moment the insects are concentrated in southern France and in almost all of the départements of the greater Paris region, except for Val d’Oise, according to the Agence régionale de santé (ARS) d'Ile-de-France.

These include Paris, and 6 other départements – Seine-et-Marne, Yvelines, Essonne, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne.

According to Le Parisien, the ARS observed an expansion of the tiger mosquito's territory with a colonisation of several towns last year in the greater Paris Île-de-France region. The départements of Val-de-Marne and Hauts-de-Seine were the worst affected.

Map of the French départements where the tiger mosquito was spotted as of January 1st 2020. Crédit: French Ministry of Health

What about this year? 

“For the moment, it is too early to establish a potential increase by département. It is difficult to foresee the dynamics of the expansion because it is influenced by the weather forecast. Warm and sunny weather alternating with showers is particularly favorable to the growth of the mosquito”, the ARS told Le Parisien.

As of now, the Île-de-France region hasn’t been hit by an increase of cases of tropical diseases, according to what the ARS told Le Parisien.

Nonetheless, actions are being taken to control the situation and wipe the insect out of the Greater Paris region.

“470 traps have been set up in the region in the general environment and around particularly sensitive sites such as hospitals, airports, and other highly frequented places by tourists,” the ARS told Le Parisien. These include Disneyland in Seine-et-Marne and the château de Vincennes in Val-de-Marne.

How can you protect yourself from the tiger mosquito?

The tiger mosquito is 5mm long, half the size of a regular mosquito, so spotting it isn't that easy. 

If you are in a region on red alert, the best way to avoid bites is to wear clothes that cover your body, to turn on the AC if possible (mosquitoes hate cold air) and use repellent, according to the ARS’ recommendations.

You should also make sure there is no standing water near your home or where you are staying, as this is where mosquitoes breed. Plant containers, blocked gutters and paddling pools all make good breeding grounds for these insects.

While it is important to remain vigilant, there are reportedly no cases of transmission of a virus such as dengue, zika or chikungunya by the tiger mosquito in Ile de France to this date, according to the ARS

 

 

 

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LIVING IN FRANCE

What changes in France in July 2022

Summer's here and the time is right for national celebrations, traffic jams, strikes, Paris beaches, and ... changing the rules for new boilers.

What changes in France in July 2022

Summer holidays

The holiday season in France officially begins on Thursday, July 7th, as this is the date when school’s out for the summer. The weekend immediately after the end of the school year is expected to be a busy one on the roads and the railways as families start heading off on vacation.

READ ALSO 8 things to know about driving in France this summer

Strikes

But it wouldn’t really be summer in France without a few strikes – airport employees at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports will walk out on July 1st, while SNCF rail staff will strike on July 6th. Meanwhile Ryanair employees at Paris, Marseille and Toulouse airports will strike on yet-to-be-confirmed dates in July.

READ ALSO How strikes and staff shortages will affect summer in France

Parliamentary fireworks?

Prime minister Elisabeth Borne will present the government’s new programme in parliament on July 5th – this is expected to be a tricky day for the Macron government, not only does it not have the parliamentary majority that it needs to pass legislation like the new package of financial aid to help householders deal with the cost-of-living crisis, but opposition parties have indicated that they will table a motion of no confidence against Borne.

Parliament usually breaks for the summer at the end of July, but a special extended session to allow legislation to be passed means that MPs won’t get to go on holiday until at least August 9th. 

Fête nationale

July 14th is a public holiday in France, commemorating the storming of the Bastille which was the symbolic start of the French Revolution. As usual, towns and cities will host parades and fireworks – with the biggest military parade taking place on the Champs-Elysées in Paris – and many stores will remain closed.

As the national holiday falls on a Thursday this year, many French workers will take the opportunity to faire le pont.

Festival season really kicks in

You know summer’s here when France gets festival fever, with events in towns and cities across the country. You can find our pick of the summer celebrations here.

Paris Plages

The capital’s popular urban beaches return on July 9th on the banks of the Seine and beside the Bassin de la Villette in northern Paris, bringing taste of the seaside to the capital with swimming spots, desk chairs, beach games and entertainment.  

Summer sales end 

Summer sales across most of the country end on July 19th – unless you live in Alpes-Maritimes, when they run from July 6th to August 2nd, or the island of Corsica (July 13th to August 9th).

Tour de France

The Tour de France cycle race sets off on July 1st from Copenhagen and finishes up on the Champs-Elysée in Paris on July 24th.

New boilers

From July 1st, 2022, new equipment installed for heating or hot water in residential or professional buildings, must comply with a greenhouse gas emissions ceiling of 300 gCO2eq/KWh PCI. 

That’s a technical way of saying oil or coal-fired boilers can no longer be installed. Nor can any other type of boiler that exceeds the ceiling.

As per a decree published in the Journal Officiel in January, existing appliances can continue to be used, maintained and repaired, but financial aid of up to €11,000 is planned to encourage their replacement. 

Bike helmets

New standards for motorbike helmets come into effect from July 1st. Riders do not need to change their current helmets, but the “ECE 22.05” standard can no longer be issued – and all helmets sold must adhere to a new, more stringent “ECE 22.06” standards from July 2024

New cars

From July 6th new car models must be equipped with a black box that record driving parameters such as speed, acceleration or braking phases, wearing (or not) of a seat belt, indicator use, the force of the collision or engine speed, in case of accidents.

New cars II

From July 1st, the ecological bonus for anyone who buys an electric vehicle drops by €1,000, while rechargeable hybrids will be excluded from the aid system, “which will be reserved for electric vehicles whose CO2 emission rate is less than or equal to 20g/km”.

What’s in a name?

Historically, the French have been quite restrictive on the use of family names – remember the concern over the use of birth names on Covid vaccine documents? – but it becomes easier for an adult to choose to bear the name of his mother, his father, or both by a simple declaration to the civil status. All you have to do is declare your choice by form at the town hall of your home or place of birth.

Eco loans

In concert with the new boiler rules, a zero-interest loan of up to €30,000 to finance energy-saving renovations can be combined with MaPrimeRénov’, a subsidy for financing the same work, under certain conditions, from July 1st.

Rent rules

Non-professional private landlords advertising properties for rent must, from July 1st, include specific information about the property on the ad, including the size of the property in square metres, the area of town in which the property is in, the monthly rent and any supplements, whether the property is in a rent-control area, and the security deposit required. Further information, including the full list of requirements for any ad, is available here.

Perfume ban

More perfumes are to be added to a banned list for products used by children, such as soap-making kits, cosmetic sets, shampoos, or sweet-making games, or toys that have an aroma.

Atranol, chloroatranol (extracts of oak moss containing tannins), and methyl carbonate heptin, which smells like violets, will be banned from July 5th, because of their possible allergenic effects.

Furthermore, 71 new allergenic fragrances – including camphor, menthol, vanilin, eucalyptus spp. leaf oil, rose flower oil, lavendula officinalis, turpentine – will be added to the list of ingredients that must be clearly indicated on a toy or on an attached label.

Ticket resto limits

The increased ticket resto limit ended on June 30th, so from July 1st employees who receive the restaurant vouchers will once again be limited to spending €19 per day in restaurants, cafés and bars. The limit was increased to €38 during the pandemic, when workers were working from home.

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